Middle East Cruise News

Pullmantur and Emirates sign 16,000-seat deal ahead of Dubai cruise season

Pullmantur Cruises has booked 16,000 seats aboard Emirates Airline’s four daily A380 flights from Madrid and Barcelona to Dubai in support of its debut Arabian Gulf fly-cruise season from Dubai in 2018/2019.

Between December, 2018 and March, 2019, Pullmantur’s cruise ship Horizon will sail 13 roundtrip Dubai cruises visiting Abu Dhabi, Khasab, Muscat and Fujairah.

It marks the first time that Pullmantur has homeported in the Arabian Gulf, and president & CEO, Richard J. Vogel, has previously said that the cruise season has been planned down to the last detail.


Pullmantur’s ship Horizon will cruise roundtrip from Dubai for the first time this coming cruise season.

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The partnership with Emirates is part of this planning, and will support Pullmantur’s efforts to sell Dubai fly-cruise packages to its Spanish source market.

“We are very pleased to sign this partnership with Emirates, one of the most renowned and cutting-edge airlines in the world,” said Vogel.

The partnership will enable Pullmantur and its travel agent partners to sell the Dubai cruise packages at rates that include a low-rate and fixed-price airfare.

A major challenge for cruise lines sailing roundtrip from Dubai, is the profit margin on each booking that gets eaten away by air fares included in the ticket price, by providing a set-rate, Emirates is enabling Pullmantur to plan ahead and keep its margins stable.

“Since it is a long-term agreement, we are contributing to stability, which is fundamental for travel agents, our passengers and, of course, ourselves,” Vogel said.


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“Our guests will receive exceptional care [with Emirates], something which is hugely important for us since their experience begins from the moment they leave their homes; achieving maximum satisfaction is one of our priorities,” Vogel added.

Fernando Suarez de Góngora, general manager of Emirates in Spain, said he was “delighted that Pullmantur Cruises has entrusted us with air transport between Spain and Dubai, our home.”

Fernando Suarez de Góngora, general manager of Emirates in Spain with Richard J. Vogel, president & CEO of Pullmantur Cruises.

Emirates Airline was the natural choice for Pullmantur, especially as the airline is part of a multi-stakeholder ‘cruise committee’ in Dubai aimed at encouraging more cruise lines to homeport in the region.

It did face competition for Pullmantur’s business though, as the cruise line traditionally works with Spanish airline Iberia.

Between April 23 and October 29, 2018 Iberia will carry more than 90,000 cruise passengers to Pullmantur’s ports of embarkation outside Spain.

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